Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalam alaykum
Is it true that we can’t take young children into a mosque and that we can’t perform the circumambulation (tawaf) with them?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
No, it is permitted to take young children into the mosque area as long as you are reasonably sure they won’t (1) disturb other worshippers, and (2) violate the sanctity of the mosque by soiling it.
The tradition (hadith) found in Ibn Majah interdicting their entry is understood to be in the case there is reasonable likelihood of one of the two aforementioned considerations. Otherwise, it would be permissible, yet usually improper unless there is a need, as is the case with infants wearing soiled nappies. Children who have been taught to revere the sanctity of the mosque, however, are permitted to enter without any dislike.
As for carrying your child whilst their nappy is soiled during the circumambulation (tawaf), it would be permitted, yet improper and disliked. This is because it is a sunna for your body and clothing to be free from filth during the circumambulation, and doing contrary to the dictates of a sunna does not necessitate a formal penalty.
[Qari, al-Maslak al-Mutaqassit (103); Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar `ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar (1.441), with Rafi`i’s Taqrirat; Kirmani, al-Masalik fi al-Manasik (1.442); Ibn al-Diya’, al-Bahr al-`Amiq (2.1135)]
And Allah Most High alone knows best.
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.